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Published: Thursday, 3/23/2006

Findlay teen charged in fatal car accident


FINDLAY - A Findlay teenager who was behind the wheel when her car went out of control and struck a rock, killing two of her passengers, has been charged with two counts of delinquency in connection with vehicular homicide.

Amber Greer, 17, is to have an initial appearance in Hancock County Juvenile Court April 18.

The charges come some five months after the crash on State Rt. 568 near the Hancock-Wyandot County line. Miss Greer was westbound just before 6 p.m. Oct. 17 when her car went off the right side of the road and struck a boulder so hard it pushed the rock into a nearby house. The car then struck a tree.

Killed were the front-seat passenger, Shelby Gallagher, 17, and Austen Parish, 16, who was seated on the right-side passenger seat in the back. A third passenger, Andrew Enright, 17, who was on the left-side passenger side was seriously injured.

Sgt. David Schultz of the Ohio Highway Patrol's Findlay post said Miss Greer told troopers she was traveling at the speed limit, which is 55 mph on that road, while young Enright told investigators he believed she was driving faster than 100 mph at the time.

Sergeant Schultz said that based on measurements taken at the scene and other evidence, troopers estimated Miss Greer was traveling at a minimum speed of 75 to 78 mph when she lost control of her car. Blood tests showed that she had no alcohol or drugs in her system, he said, and there were no other aggravating circumstances.

"This was categorized by the prosecutor's office as negligent," he explained. "If it was categorized as reckless, it would meet the definition of aggravated vehicular homicide."

The charges against Miss Greer are considered first-degree misdemeanors.

Hancock County Prosecutor Bob Fry could not be reached for comment yesterday. Assistant Hancock County Public Defender Aaron Ried, who is representing Miss Greer, said there was not a specified penalty for the charge. "Juvenile court judges have tremendous discretion to impose whatever consequence they think appropriate," he said.

Young Enright said in a previous interview that he and the Parish youth had been at a friend's house the afternoon of the crash when the two girls they went to school with at Findlay High School offered to drive them to his girlfriend's house near Vanlue.

He credited the fact that he was wearing a seat belt with saving his life. Young Parish was not wearing a seat belt, and the girls were only wearing shoulder belts, according to highway patrol reports.

Contact Jennifer Feehan

at jfeehan@theblade.com

or 419-353-5972.

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